Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Non-inflation of plastic bag on airlplane oxygen mask ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Non-inflation of plastic bag on airlplane oxygen mask
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: jim-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 26 Apr 2002 23:08 PDT
Expires: 26 May 2002 23:08 PDT
Question ID: 6297
When flight attendants explain the use of the oxygen mask, they say,
"Although the plastic bag does not inflate, oxygen is still flowing
through the mask." Why doesn't the plastic bag inflate? And if it
doesn't inflate, why do they have the plastic bag?
Subject: Re: Non-inflation of plastic bag on airlplane oxygen mask
Answered By: alexander-ga on 26 Apr 2002 23:36 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The bag does inflate slightly under normal use, but often
imperceptibly so. Many people would expect the bag to nearly fully
inflate, so the disclaimer is to help ward off panic during an
emergency situation.

The purpose of the bag is as an oxygen reservoir. The flow of oxygen
to the mask is in a slow continuous stream, but your breathing is more
erratic -- you're only inhaling some of the time, and at different
speeds. The bag is fitted with a one-way valve which stores oxygen in
the bag when you're exhaling, and provides oxygen to you when
inhaling. In a way, it's a personal "buffer zone" that compensates for
each passenger's respiratory rate.

Using a reservoir bag in this manner allows for a much slower oxygen
flow, which is important when you're providing oxygen to an entire
plane full of people!


Reservoir bags are also commonly used on medical breathing apparatus,
for administering oxygen and/or anesthetics:

Search terms used: "may not inflate" oxygen, oxygen mask reservoir
jim-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy